The TravelTime platform turns distance into time, locating places by the time taken to get there rather than distance, and that can make a huge difference on your journey to the office. The idea for the platform first came about some years when co-founder Charlie Davies hit traffic gridlock en route to an important meeting. He'd chosen the shortest route, but as he found himself stuck in traffic he realised that distance was less important than how long it would take him to get there.
The platform uses data gathered from multiple transport sources to map travel time areas for all common modes of transport, driving, public transport, cycling and walking, which can also be combined. Used within a location search, it can search, map, sort and deliver results based on time rather than distance.
The applications for commuting are broad. For example, employers looking to relocate to new offices can use it to identify which locations would be best for their employees, compare commute times, and inform staff of the time, cost and route required in the future.
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TravelTime can also calculate the commute times and costs for each individual employee. This also helps employers by avoiding the delays and impact on employee productivity caused by traffic disruption or congested car parks. It can also intelligently monitor the service and adjust the schedule so that the most efficient number of employees are picked up and will arrive at the desired times.
As co-founder and CMO Barney Williams explains, while there are many ways for those working in major cities to commute using public transport, where their place of work is not city centre-based, most employees have to travel by car.
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Employees are given monthly, weekly or one off passes depending on the option chosen by their employer, and can also choose what time they want to be picked up. The journeys are comparably cost-effective to driving, and employees can be more productive, whilst ensuring that they get home on time in the evenings.
Next generation mobile connectivity could also play a part in improving the life of the commuter. Once they are rolled out 5G networks could speed up the flow of traffic by allowing traffic lights to receive real-time information about current traffic patterns from cameras, sensors and drones distributed throughout smart cities. Being more responsive to actual traffic movement will help to ensure that traffic keeps flowing and to avoid unnecessary stops at red lights.
Early testing of smart traffic light systems by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh produced a 40 per cent decrease in traffic stops, a 26 per cent faster commute.
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